Van Gaal declares Neuer interest
Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal has added extra spice to tomorrow's DFB-Pokal semi-final with Schalke by openly declaring his interest in Manuel Neuer.
The Dutchman wants the Königsblauen goalkeeper to compete with Thomas Kraft, his current first-choice between the sticks at the Allianz Arena.
Van Gaal has put his faith in the 22-year-old ahead of veteran Hans-Jorg Butt since the winter break, but has warned Kraft to accept strong competition for his place next season or leave.
"I think we could do with Manuel Neuer," he told the Bild newspaper. "A top team needs two top players in every position - in goal is no different. If Kraft can not accept this, then I recommend he leaves."
Neuer has long been linked with a move to Bayern, with his contract with Schalke running until 2012.
Kraft's deal at Bayern expires at the end of the campaign and he has so far reportedly been unable to agree a new deal.
Neuer brushed off Van Gaal's comments as mind games ahead of the match. "That is only a little trick before the semi-final," he said.